It’s no secret. ATM’s are everywhere. Why? There is consumer demand for cash, and businesses that prefer cash versus other forms of payment.
So you want to start an ATM Company you say…
As an ATM sales company- we certainly love selling ATMs. That being said – we sell ATMs at wholesale prices and rely on processing revenues to generate income. Our goal is not to sell you a million ATMs, our goal is to help you get a million transactions.
99% of being successful in this industry is selecting the right locations where you can generate the most potential profits. We recommend all start ups and experienced veterans take a quick read of this post to learn from our experience of what makes a good ATM location. As a Nationwide ISO since 1998, with thousands of ATM customers – let us help you be more successful.
Most of these tips we could honestly write books about each of them individually. But here are some quick tips that we have learned through trial and error. Remember- our goal is for you to be successful. So you process more transaction with us. We don’t care whatsoever about how many ATMs you buy!
- Look for cash only businesses. We can not stress this enough. If there is anything from this post that you remember- remember this. Look for businesses that do not accept credit cards. Look for businesses that have high credit card minimums compared with the average sale amounts. Look for businesses that charge a credit card percentage on sales. This is the most important thing to remember in finding great ATM locations.
- Look for high foot traffic locations and locations that are convenient. The more people that walk past and see your ATM, the more likely it is to get used. Equally important – the location of the ATM needs to be convenient! Don’t kid yourself. We are all lazy! We will not stop, park and get out of our cars to use an ATM. We will not walk to the back of a store to use the ATM. It needs to be right in our faces to get the most use. It’s silly – but true!
- In the past, we used to tell everyone to focus on convenience stores. Convenience stores “were” the be all and end all. Convenience stores typically have the highest transaction counts. They also charge the lowest surcharges when we look at our portfolio as a whole. We feel that these high volume accounts can be “bread and butter” kinds of accounts – but not necessarily the most profitable. Low surcharges combined with a typically generous revenue share, and high cash volumes in most cases just leads to lower ROI. So if you can get convenience stores- that’s great – but most of the time there are more profitable locations out there.
- Think outside the box for profits. Some of our best (most profitable) ATM locations are locations you never would have expected. Bars, restaurants, nail salons & barber shops have been huge money makers for us. They typically have lower transaction counts, and dispense less cash – but have higher surcharges and low revenue shares with the store owners. Generally speaking, we have better ROIs on an ATM doing 150 transactions a month, dispensing $9000 in cash charging $2 surcharge at a barbershop – than an ATM doing 400 transactions a month at a convenience store, charging $1.50 dispensing 25,000.
- Charge a “Fair” Surcharge amount. Just because you can get someone to pay a high surcharge – does not mean its good business to do so. Our average surcharge is around $2.15. Best Products believes in integrity and fair business practices and fair surcharge amounts should reflect these beliefs. We hear all the time “My bank charges $3”. If banks are charging $3 – its because they want you to join the bank and use the ATM for free. They don’t want your $3, that surcharge is a deterrent. As an independent ATM operator – don’t charge $3 just because banks do. You are not a bank! This industry was created by individual states legalizing surcharging. High surcharging ultimately may destroy the industry. There have been many negative articles/ newspaper stories throughout the years in regards to high surcharges. Bad PR is nothing but bad news for any industry and with one stroke of a pen – the industry could instantly be dissolved or over regulated if politicians ever decided to get involved. Do us all a favor – if you are not making money at a location – instead of just raising the surcharge – find another location that you can be profitable!
- Be realistic. The average independently owned ATM nowadays does about 250 transactions per month. Think about that for a moment. If you are charging $2, that’s $500 in potential income. You aren’t going to just find any old location, plant an ATM, and make $2000 a month from it. Its just not going to happen.
- If at first you don’t succeed! Finding locations can be as easy as you make it. If they appear promising, we “Best Products” always like to try them out for a few months. If they do nothing – we move the ATM. Moving the ATM, accepting a failed location can be hard but its 100% necessary to ensure success.
- Set goals. Calculate your minimum monthly ROI and stick to it. We recommend you make at least $150 a month- after expenses – to keep an ATM at a location. Setting a clearly defined goal and sticking to that goal will ensure you are successful.
- We strongly encourage newcomers to the business to always buy new ATMs! Don’t waste your money on used garbage. We can not tell you how many phone calls we get a week “hey, I just bought this on ebay, or craigslist, or facebook market place – I would like to get it working again”…. We have no issue with buying used machines per say, but bottom line, don’t buy unless you are knowledgeable in what you are buying. Make sure it is EMV Compliant. Make sure it is in good condition and all components work. Plug it in, make sure the keyboard works, the dispenser rollers are not gummy/ worn. If at any point you have questions, Call us with questions and we will give you free advice on what you are purchasing/ value/ if we think it’s worth it.
- Have the required resources to properly fund your ATM business venture. You need approximately $2500 for the ATM equipment, and at least $2500 in vault cash – at a minimum. So $5000 in total – per location. The ATM business can also be a risky endeavor but can reap great rewards.